War of 1996
During the War of 1996, Dylan and his mother survived the destruction of Los Angeles. They then searched for survivors and traveled to the ruins of El Toro, where they were found by Steve who took them to Area 51. There, Dylan befriended Patricia Whitmore, the daughter of President Thomas Whitmore.
After the war, Dylan was legally adopted by Steve, and he took on his surname. After that, he and his family lived in reconstructed Washington, D.C. until moving to Nevada near Area 51. He attended a STEP academy with the aspiration of becoming a fighter pilot like his stepfather. At the academy, he was again reunited with Patricia Whitmore and befriended fellow student Jake Morrison.
Dylan was accepted into the ESD Academy. Tragedy in his life struck when Steve Hiller was killed while flying a hybrid fighter during the 2007 ESD Spring Expo. Steve’s death deeply affected Dylan, who felt compelled to inherit his stepfather’s legacy.
Years later Dylan was applied to the ESD's Legacy Squadron. He and Jake established a rivalry of sorts that soon strained their friendship. This came to a head when Dylan was almost killed in a training accident caused by Jake; both men participated in a training scenario that replicated Steve Hiller's flight in the Grand Canyon in which Jake accidentally clipped Dylan's fighter's wing and causing his aircraft to crash before Dylan safely ejected. Although angered, Dylan did not file a complaint against Jake but testified against him for making a profound misjudgment.
War of 2016
During the upcoming 20th anniversary of the War of 1996, Dylan was declared flight leader of Legacy Squadron and led his squadron to perform their first flight on the Moon. Upon arrival in the ESD Moon Base, Dylan was reunited with Jake Morrison. The meeting turned bitter as Dylan still refused to forgive Jake for the accident, and he punched him in the face.
As Dylan participated in the celebrations, the festivity was interrupted by the sudden return of the aliens. He and Legacy Squadron helplessly watched the alien mothership destroyed the moon base before it proceeded to land on Earth. Legacy Squadron was then ordered to return to Area 51, but Dylan flew to Washington, D.C. to see the safety of his mother as one of the mothership's massive landing struts imminently come upon the capital. Dylan forced an evacuation helicopter to rescue his mother and a pregnant woman from the rooftop of a hospital. Unfortunately, Jasmine was killed while Dylan watched in absolute dismay.
After returning to Area 51, Dylan led in a retaliatory assault on the mothership in an effort to kill the Harvester Queen. After confronting alien forces, Dylan led a group of fighters and bombers into the mothership but fell into a trap that disabled their aircraft. Dylan bailed out and was stranded inside the mothership. He and several surviving pilots including Morrison managed to escape the ship by hijacking alien fighter craft.
Dylan with Morrison, Rain Lao, and Charles Miller traveled back to Area 51, where it was being attacked by alien forces led by their Queen, and arrived in time to save Patricia Whitmore from the Queen. However, the pilots' hijacked fighters were caught in the Queen's telekinetic control which formed a massive shield of other fighters that protected the Queen as she resumed her attack on Area 51. Fortunately, thanks to Morrison's idea, Dylan and the other pilots broke free from the Queen's control radius by overheating their fighters' engines. This allowed them to again attack the Queen, who was now vulnerable without her shields, and fatally wounding her and causing the aliens to fall into disarray before retreating from Earth.
Following the battle, Dylan dropped his antagonism towards Jake and renewed their friendship.
- "What you been doing out there?"
- ―Steven and Dylan
- "What happened, mommy?"
"I don't know, baby."
- ―Dylan and Jasmine, seeing LA in ruins.
Independence Day: Crucible
- "You know what killed my dad? It wasn’t the explosion. It was being Steve Hiller, the guy that did something impossible and saved the world. One of the guys, anyway. After that, he wasn’t just a guy, you know. He was the guy, and Dad took that seriously. He carried that weight even after it got too heavy for him, and he climbed into a ship he didn’t trust because that was what he was supposed to do. Now that he’s gone… it feels like it’s all come down on me. Like if I fail, I’m not just failing myself—I’m failing everybody."
- ―Dylan to Jake
Independence Day: Resurgence
- "It's truly humbling to see how beautiful Earth is from here, Madam President."
- ―Dylan to President Lanford
- "It's the Fourth of July, let's show'em some fireworks."
- ―Dylan, leading the ESD on the attack.
- "Get ready for a close encounter, bitch!"
- ―Dylan, laying fire on the Harvester Queen
Independence Day: Resurgence
- Independence Day/novel (first appearance)
- ID4: Independence Day
- Independence Day: Crucible
- Independence Day: Resurgence/novel
Behind the Scenes
- Seven-year-old Ross Bagley had been a regular cast member on Will Smith's TV series "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" in which he played Vivian's son Nicky Banks for the show's fifth and sixth seasons.